If this is your baby care first monsoon, it can be an exciting time for both the baby and you. But, while the beginning of the rainy season gives us relief from the sweltering heat, heavy showers bring other challenges too.
To help you care for your baby during this time, we’ve put together answers to the most frequently asked questions about how to care for your baby through the rainy season.
What food and water safety rules should I follow for my baby during the monsoon?
Overflowing drains, waterlogged areas, pools of stagnant water all increase the incidence of water-borne and vector-borne diseases so staying away from these is important. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, remember to feed more often to keep him/her hydrated. If your baby care is already on semi-solids and needs water in between meals, ensure it is filtered. If power outages mean your water purifier doesn’t work, bring regular water to a rolling boil for at least 5 minutes and cool before giving it to your baby.
Sterilise all bottles and sippy cups more often as humidity can cause mould. Food also spoils faster in humid weather, so check all food carefully before giving it to your baby. Look for changes in colour, texture, smell or signs of mould or fermentation. Needless to say, home food is best and avoiding take out or street food is the best for your baby’s delicate immune system. If you are travelling, carry a bottle of water and some simple meals to feed the baby when hungry.
What are some precautions to take during the monsoon when indoors?
Good hygiene for yourself, your baby care and your home is of the utmost importance. Give your house a deep clean before the monsoon begins and check for signs of water leaks and mould a week or two after the rains start. In mosquito-infested areas, keep infants covered and use mosquito nets, especially during the evenings. Extreme humidity can mean we feel cold, yet hot at the same time. Ensure babies are diaper-free as much as possible or change them more regularly. Pick thicker, dry clothes that are also breathable and be vigilant for signs that your child has a fever or is coughing, sneezing or showing signs of discomfort.
Make sure to wash your hands regularly during the day, especially after coming in from outside or using the washroom. Keep baby care safe from infections by getting the necessary vaccines beforehand and keeping sick people away from them entirely. Breastfeeding moms should be extra careful to have a healthy diet as those nutrients pass on the child through the milk. Breastfeeding during the rains is also great as breast milk is rich with antibodies that help protect the child. Check with your doctor and put together a medical kit with basic fever and cold meds in case of an emergency.
What are some precautions to take during the monsoon when outdoors?
When it comes to the great outdoors, it’s best to remember that we can’t control everything. Follow the three P’s, and you can be sure you’re doing your best.
Protect – The best protection you can give yourself, and your child against numerous germs and illnesses is getting up-to-date on your vaccinations. Many doctors recommend getting not only booster shots before the rains begin but also checking to see if any new vaccines might be relevant to you and your family like the flu vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, typhoid vaccine and hepatitis A vaccine. They help boost the child’s defence system against these microbes.
Pre-empt – Avoid crowded areas with high volumes of people as there is a greater chance of catching and spreading infections. Carry a hand sanitizer and some anti-bacterial wipes when on the move and offer these to people before they handle your baby care.
Prevent – Check your surroundings regularly and have stagnant water attended to immediately. Mosquitoes can breed in the water that lies around and come out in swarms, especially at dusk. Use a mosquito net over cribs and prevent bug and mosquito bites by keeping your child covered at all times. When allowing your toddler to enjoy the rain sometimes, set a time limit, prevent them from splashing in muddy puddles and dry them thoroughly afterwards.
How often should I bathe my baby during the monsoon?
Unless your baby care has been out and about in the rain, it is perfectly acceptable to skip bathing the baby every day. Wipe them down with a warm washcloth and keep them dry. When you do bathe your baby, ensure the water is warm to the touch not hot as it can dry out the delicate skin and cause any number of skin conditions.
Besides having your doctor on speed dial, when it comes to the rainy season and babies, being prepared is winning half the battle. With these handy tips, enjoying the rains can now be safer and easier.
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